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People’s imagination can be amusing. It can also be silly. It is equally hilarious how some insane ideas are born, spread, and become fads. One example is “Talk like a Pirate Day.”

Jolly Roger

Talk Like a Pirate Day started in 1995. Oddly enough, it was born during a game of racquetball. After playing a game as “the pirate guys,” the pirate talk didn’t end after the game. So much fun was had acting as pirates that the few fellas (3 to be exact) carried on for years to their pirate selves. Fast forward more years and they threw out a Hail Mary of an email to humor writer, Dave Barry. They pitched the idea to him of spreading the word of Talk Like a Pirate Day and offered him the only thing they could, an opportunity to be the official spokesperson. Dave bit, and the rest is history.

Talk Like a Pirate Day is not the only day on the calendar flooded by prudent and imaginative people with unusual annotations. This started us thinking about unusual things in the SEO world; primarily search engine optimization tactics that just… won’t… die.

With huge advancements in search engine algorithms over the last few years that aim to weed out bad SEO practices, there are several concepts that are outdated and no longer effective. However, for whatever reason, some SEO companies still choose to sell snake oil. Join me as we explore commonly SEO practices that are no longer effective.

1. Meta Keywords tags are worthless

Gone are the days when topping search engine ranks were just a matter of overloading the meta keyword tag with your “money keywords.” It didn’t take long for search engines to recognize that this meta tag was being abused. In fact, Google stopped acknowledging meta keywords way back in 2009.

2. Keyword stuffing does not work

Keyword stuffing refers to the devious approach of showing words or phrases in excess in an attempt to emphasize a website’s relevancy to those words or phrases. Similar to why meta keywords no longer work, stuffing keywords does not help either.

Search engines make big bucks on delivering quality results to searchers. It is in their best interest to minimize displaying bogus content. Search engines are becoming better in analyzing not only the content that is being shown on a page but the context of those contents.

3. Directory backlinks are bad

While quality backlinks can be a valuable asset to an SEO strategy, directories are not among them. It had been proven that directory backlinks do not gain the approval of search engines, especially Google.

“Any links intended to manipulate PageRank or a site’s ranking in Google search results may be considered part of a link scheme and a violation of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.”

Directory backlinks are considered unnatural links and a violation of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. A sure way to NOT increase search engine rankings is to get penalized by Google and be completely removed from search results, entirely.